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Richland County, Columbia post-flood news developments

gmelendez@thestate.com

LOWER RICHLAND MEETING

State Sen. Darrell Jackson and lower Richland County officials will host a meeting Thursday in Gadsden for flood victims who have questions about the recovery effort.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Temple of Faith Bible Way Church, at 2850 Congaree Road. The Gadsden community and other parts of lower Richland County were hit hard by the area’s heavy rains and flooding.

State military, transportation, insurance and environmental officials will be available to answer questions.

SEWER OVERFLOW NOTICE

The city of Columbia continues to experience an overflow of treated sewage near 320 Candi Lane in Richland County, near Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens.

The overflow situation is the result of continued flood water inundation of the collection system and is entering the Saluda River, city officials said Wednesday afternoon.

For inquiries, call (803) 545-3300 or visit customercare@columbiasc.net.

COUNTY DEBRIS REMOVAL

Richland County is picking up flood-related debris curbside. (This debris is separate from regular household garbage and recyclables that go in the green roll carts.)

County officials urge residents to properly separate the items into piles — household, construction, vegetation, household hazardous waste, “white” goods with refrigerator/freezer doors secured with duct tape and electronics. To view a graphic illustrating the proper way to set out flood-related debris for removal, visit www.rcgov.us. Questions? Call (803) 929-6000.

WELL WATER TESTING

State health officials are urging residents with wells to take precautions to ensure their water is safe to drink.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control offers instructions for disinfecting wells and well-water testing supplies and results at some of its locations. For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/.

CONGAREE PARK REOPENS

The Congaree National Park south of Columbia has reopened after the historic flooding earlier this month.

Officials say the flood waters are receding at the park, which has has been closed since Oct. 4. The park encourages people to stop by the visitors’ center to determine the status of each of the trails in the park.

The state’s only national park has the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest in the Southeast.

PERMITTING OPEN HOUSES

Columbia and Richland County are holding open houses on flood repair permitting:

▪ 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church, 4205 Kilbourne Road, Columbia

▪ 5-6:30 p.m. Monday at Woodland Park, 6500 Olde Knight Parkway

▪ 7-8:30 p.m. Monday at the M.L. Smith Community Development Center, 5228 Farrow Road.

Homeowners and contractors can ask questions in a one-on-one setting, learn whether their property is in a floodplain, pick up a construciton permit application packet and determine their property value. No permits will be issued during the meetings.

REPLACING FLOODED VEHICLES

The Richland County Auditor offers the following tax tips for residents whose vehicles were destroyed in the flood:

▪ If you intend to purchase another automobile of a higher value and your tag expires within two months, pay the taxes on your old vehicle first and then transfer the license plate to your new vehicle. This will give you a longer period of time before you pay taxes on the newer automobile.

▪ If you intend to purchase another vehicle before paying your taxes and updating your license plate, then the taxes will be due when your license plate expires on the new automobile.

▪ If you intend to purchase a vehicle and let the dealer purchase your license plate, then you will have 120 days from the date of purchase to pay the property taxes on the new vehicle.

▪ If you do not intend to replace your vehicle, then you must turn in the license plate at the Department of Motor Vehicles and receive the form 5051. Bring, fax or email the 5051form to the Auditor’s Office and receive a refund for the months remaining on the license plate.

From Staff Reports and The Associated Press

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